How to Use a Breast Pump

A breast pump is a mechanical device that lactating women use to express and collect their breast milk. Pumps can be manual devices that are powered by hand or foot movements or automatic devices that are powered by electricity.

When using a breast pump, be sure the flanges (the cone-shaped cups that fit over the nipple) are the correct size. They should be snug but not painful. If they are painful, you may need a larger flange size or a different breast shield. Then put the flanges on both breasts and start pumping (pressing a button for a powered pump or squeezing a lever for a manual pump). Make sure you begin in letdown/stimulation mode and continue until your breasts feel empty, which should take about 10 to 15 minutes per breast.

Before pumping, get comfortable in a warm, quiet room where you can relax undisturbed. It can help to massage the area of your nipple that you plan to pump. This stimulates the let-down reflex, which causes the cells in your nipple to eject your milk into your milk ducts. It also helps to look at a photo of your baby or smell something that reminds you of him or her.

You can buy a single-use breast pump for home use or rent a multiple-use one to take with you to work, school, etc. It’s important to know that sharing a pump is not recommended because it can lead to infections. If you decide to rent or buy a pump, only do so from an authorized provider who can give you new and clean equipment. breast pump

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